While the new restaurants at the IMU will be a big draw for the IU community, there are some special touches that were made during this significant renovation.
Indiana Memorial Union 7th Street Marquee
This sign hung along 7th street at the circle drive entrance to the IMU. It was posted as part of the Biddle Continuation Center expansion completed in 1960. IMU hotel staff would hang letters on the lower section of the sign to spell out the day’s specials. After hanging on 7th street entrance for 45 years, this sign was removed in 2005 after a new entrance sign was constructed just east of the Ernie Pyle building.
After the sign was removed, it was stored away because of the special place it held for the IMU for so many years. During the planning stages for the IMU food service renovation, it was determined that this sign could become a focal point in the new space and reflect back on the past 60 years at the Indiana Memorial Union.
Stained Glass Windows
A new centerpiece of the east dining area, these stained glass windows are much more prominently displayed after being in The Commons for decades. Replicas of these windows were famously broken in the food fight scene in Breaking Away.
But, we need your help, Union Board alumni: Do you know any more about the history of these windows?
Email IMU Executive Director, Hank Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any information or stories.
We have evidence that they were in The Commons in the 1960s, but don’t know any more than that. Does anyone know about their origins or any other fun facts about them?
Whittenberger Auditorium Lobby Light Fixtures
The original ceiling plan (circa 1960) for the Whittenberger Auditorium lobby had one of these light fixtures installed in every other section of the coffered ceiling. In 1997, the lobby corridor outside of the Whittenberger Auditorium was renovated. Part of this renovation included replacing the ceilings and some of the existing light fixtures. Nine light fixtures were removed from the lobby area and new can lights were installed. The fixtures were then packed away and stored at the IMU.
During the planning stages for the 2020 IMU renovation project, it was determined that the fixtures could be refurbished with new wiring and new LED lighting for the project. 24 years after these fixtures were removed, they’ve taken on a new life and are now a featured fixture throughout the renovated food service area.